heating system

Heating

How to Transition Your Home and HVAC into Heating Season

Cooler fall temperatures are a welcome relief after the summer heat and humidity, and they are also a sign that Broken Arrow residents need to think about switching from cooling to heating their homes. By transitioning seasons wisely, you can ensure the comfort and safety of your family throughout the winter months while saving money on the cost of heating and repairs, using these tips.

Enhance Airflow

Supply and return vents are an important part of your HVAC system and those which are closed or obstructed can upset the pressure balance and cause a loss of efficiency or equipment malfunction or breakdown. Check your registers to ensure they remain open and they are not blocked by drapes, furniture, area rugs, or other items.

Turn Off Your A/C at Night

Milder daytime temperatures translate into colder nights, so rather than leaving your A/C running and burrowing under the covers, set the temperature several degrees higher or turn it off altogether. Ceiling and floor fans can help to circulate the air while you sleep without breaking the bank.

Clean Your Air Filter

An air filter is the first line of defense to prevent particulates such as allergens, dander, dirt, and dust from traveling throughout your HVAC system, and it should be cleaned or changed before you first turn on your heating system each fall, and again every four to six weeks as needed.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

Annual preventive maintenance each spring and fall can help make transitioning seasons easy, by ensuring your HVAC equipment is cleaned, tuned, and optimized for maximum efficiency and performance.

Change Direction on Your Ceiling Fans

During the summer months, your ceiling fan should be set to rotate counter-clockwise to push the cool air towards the floor, but in winter, your ceiling fans should be set to rotate clockwise at a slower pace to create an updraft that redistributes rising warm air back down the walls.

Contact Air Assurance for expert assistance with transitioning seasons, with services that include residential HVAC installation, replacement, and repair. We have been proudly serving Tulsa area residents for more than 30 years.

Service & Maintenance

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

When your heat pump suddenly becomes noisy, the first thing that may come to your mind is that it's about to break down. But don't panic just yet. Loud heat pumps could be just that — loud. At times, the loud noise could be a sign of a problem. So how can you tell the difference? Read on to find out the common noises that heat pumps make and what they indicate.

Normal Noises

Heat pumps usually make some strange sounds while they operate. For instance, those that have a Scroll-type compressor make clicking and tapping sounds as they shut down. When coming on, they make rickety sounds. Swooshing sounds are also to be expected when heat pumps go into defrost mode. Shifting valves are responsible for the sounds, which shouldn't be a cause for concern. Rattling sounds at startup or shutdown that resemble an unbalanced washing machine are also typical.

Unsettling Noises

Some loud noises can be signs of trouble. They include:

  • Gurgling — Low refrigerant charge often causes gurgling noises. It can severely downgrade your heat pump's performance.

  • Rattling — Frequent rattling or vibration-like sounds could be caused by loose components or unsecured ducts.

  • Metal-to-metal noises — At times, a heat pump can make banging or clanging sounds like metal hitting against metal. The fan blades could be hitting a chunk of ice or other components. The contact could damage the fan or the parts that the fan blades are hitting. To avoid costly repairs, turn the unit off as soon as you hear these noises.

  • Popping — This sound could be as a result of liquid refrigerant entering the compressor. You should have it fixed soonest possible.

  • Squealing — A high-pitched squealing sound could indicate your unit's motor is going bad. It could also be due to your compressor putting too much pressure on the refrigerant.

If your heat pump is making any of these worrisome sounds, call in an HVAC professional to examine it. If you need help with a noisy unit in the Broken Arrow area, contact the heat pump specialists at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured, Furnaces

4 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Furnace

4 Things to Know Before You Replace Your Furnace

When it comes to your home's central heating system, you don't want to be the guy or gal who's totally surprised when the furnace conks out on the coldest day of winter. It's better to be ready for that inevitable time when your heating system needs to be replaced, and then know the correct steps to take before installing a new system.

In general, you should start preparing to replace your furnace when it nears the end of its estimated service life. That's typically 15-20 years, though it can be shorter or longer depending on the amount of usage and maintenance the furnace gets. Certain red flags will tell you more specifically that it's time for replacement, including frequent repairs (more than one significant repair in a year) and lost heating effectiveness.

Once you've made the decision, consider these tips:

Work with an HVAC contractor whom you trust when it's time to replace your furnace. This is much too great an investment to make without feeling secure about your contractor.

Discuss with the contractor what capacity furnace is needed for your home. They should perform a heating load calculation that takes into account your home's size and layout, airtightness and insulation, window coverage, and many other factors. The heating load is the amount of heating required to make your home comfortable.

Likewise, discuss what level of energy efficiency is desirable in your particular home. In general, higher efficiency comes with a higher purchase price but lower operating costs once the furnace is installed. Climate is a key factor when considering furnace efficiency, since you'll reap more monthly energy savings in a climate with a colder, longer winter. Your contractor can tell you what efficiency level makes the most sense in our Broken Arrow climate.

Your contractor also should discuss what advanced features are available for your new furnace. This can include add-ons that increase furnace efficiency, and supplemental systems for whole-house air cleaning and humidity control.

For more advice on upgrading your Broken Arrow area home's heating system, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay”

Heating

Reasons Your Heating System May Not Keep Your Home Warm

Reasons Your Heating System May Not Keep Your Home Warm

You might be shivering inside your home because of a problem with the heating system, or it could be your home itself. Any one or several of these problems could be contributing to cold temperatures indoors.

Check the Furnace

  • Look for signs of ductwork leaks. Dusty areas around the registers or nearby walls or rooms that are colder than others often indicate ductwork problems. A segment of the ducts might be obstructed, blocking the airflow. If you can access them, look for ductwork damage, tears, or detached segments.

  • Check the thermostat. The thermostat may not turn the furnace on when needed, or shut it off before it reaches its target temperature. Its batteries could be dead, or the thermostat needs replacing.

  • The furnace needs repair. Furnaces use safety switches that will turn them off when they are overheating or malfunctioning. There could be a problem with the ignition system, or the blower motor.

An HVAC technician can diagnose and fix the heating system problems, whether they’re associated with the ducts or the furnace itself.

Look Over Your Home

  • The lack of insulation and air leaks in the home’s envelope might be responsible for the cool indoor temperatures. Over time, insulation can disintegrate and air leaks form. Damp or compressed insulation loses its ability to slow heat loss.Builders often use caulk to seal around exterior door and window frames. Over time, caulk shrinks and dries out, losing its effectiveness. You may need to reapply it, or replace old door weatherstripping.

  • Windows might be the culprit. As your home settles, the windows may not fit as tightly in their frames. For the best protection against drafts, lock each window. You can also put draft blockers at the base of windows to block cold air.If new windows aren’t in your plans, install clear plastic window sealing kits, available online or at home improvement centers.

Whether it’s problems with your home or the heating system, an HVAC contractor can help you find the issues and promptly fix them. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating system and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home

Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home

A lot of factors go into choosing the right heating system for your home. If you think you'll be in the market for a new furnace or heat pump in the near future, start considering your heating system options now. But first, how do you know your current heating system is running out of time?

The easiest way to tell is its age. Combustion furnaces generally last from 15-20 years, while air-source heat pumps are more like air conditioners, with a useful service life of 10-15 years. If your heating system is at the upper range of those numbers, plus is breaking down frequently or your heating bills are going up, it's probably time for an upgrade. With the vast improvements in energy efficiency over the past 20 years, you might be surprised to learn how inexpensive modern high-efficiency HVAC systems are to operate.

One of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to choose a combustion furnace (natural gas, heating oil or propane), an electric heat pump, or some other option. In most cases, sticking with the system that you're replacing is the easiest course, since your home already has the plumbing, wiring, venting, etc. However, discuss with your HVAC contractor whether a switch to a different system might give you better heating performance at a lower cost.

Energy efficiency is another factor you'll have to weigh. Higher-efficiency HVAC systems cost more at the outset, but bring long-term savings on fuel and/or electricity. The rule of thumb with heating systems is the colder and longer the winter, the more savings you'll get from a high-efficiency furnace or heat pump. Discuss with your HVAC contractor what efficiency level makes the most sense in our Oklahoma climate.

You'll also be asked about possible advanced features for your new heating system. Various add-ons can improve energy efficiency, ventilation, humidity control and air cleaning. Depending on your own budget and household conditions, some advanced features might improve comfort, indoor health and/or energy efficiency.

To discuss heating system options for your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating systems and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Heating

Best Heating Alternatives to Save Energy in the Winter

Best Heating Alternatives to Save Energy in the Winter

No one enjoys a freezing home, but heating up your place will typically take a big toll on energy costs. Don't fret - we've taken the time to put together a short list of heating alternatives that will help you save energy and lower costs.Here are some heating alternatives to consider this season:

Install a Solar Energy System

Solar power may very well be the wave of the future. Many homeowners have already discovered the savings they can enjoy by harnessing the power of the sun. If you have any issues with installation, an HVAC technician can assist you.

Install a Geothermal System

Why focus on the energy above when you can draw power from below instead? Our planet is full of energy just below its service and a geothermal system will allow you to harness that energy to heat your entire home at a lower cost than a traditional heating system.

Pick Up a Couple Space Heaters

If only one or two of your rooms are occupied at a time, there may be no reason to run your heating system. Instead, pick up a couple of space heaters and use them instead. These small units can warm you up very quickly and they can be moved from room to room (and person to person) as needed.

Start Using the Fireplace

Many homes use their fireplace for nothing more than decoration. Caring for a fireplace takes a bit of time, but it's totally worth the benefit of warming up a large portion of your home for a lower cost.

Put on a Sweater

While turning on the heat is easy to do, it's also the most costly. If your home isn't too cold, putting on a sweater - or warm clothes, in general - should be more than enough to keep you warm.

If you're looking for more advice on heating alternatives or have any other questions related to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home alternatives and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “nattanan23/Pixabay”

Heating

How to Heat Cold Rooms Quickly

How to Heat Cold Rooms Quickly

No one enjoys being in a cold room during the winter, but getting warmed up can often be a bit of a chore. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you heat cold rooms quickly without costing you a lot of money:

Check the Registers

You might be surprised at how often a cold room is due to something simple, such as a register that is either closed or blocked. If this is happening in your home, then rooms aren't being given a chance to warm up, so be sure that each register is open and that nothing is impeding their airflow.

Replace the Heating System's Air Filter

The job of a system's air filter is to stop pollutants from reentering your home. This filter gets clogged up over time, which negatively impacts its effectiveness. Check the filter each month and replace it whenever it's too dirty.

Install a Radiant Floor Heating System

The installation of a radiant floor heating system is relatively easy, so you have the choice of tackling it yourself or calling an HVAC technician to do the work. These systems are usually placed beneath tile flooring but can be used with other types of flooring as well.

Check the Ductwork Dampers

The job of ductwork dampers is to manage airflow during the season. These dampers must be adjusted accordingly to coincide with the season. If you haven't already done so, take a look at them and adjust them, if needed. This is likely to heat up even your coldest rooms if this is the problem.

Utilize Duct-Booster Fans

Duct-booster fans are small fans that attach to your registers in a forced-air setup to increase the flow of heated air within the room. This can be a highly effective, and yet inexpensive, way to quickly heat up each room they're used in.

For more expert advice on how to heat cold rooms or other home comfort concerns, contact the professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

What’s That Smell? Heating System Odors

What’s That Smell? Heating System Odors

Let’s face it - strange heating system odors can put you in a foul mood, especially if you’re just trying to enjoy the comfort your heating system normally offers. They could also be the first sign that something’s gone wrong with your heating equipment.Any one of the heating system odors mentioned below can spell trouble for your heating system if left unchecked. Here’s a quick guide on these odors, including what causes them and how to take care of them for good:

Dirty socks

Bacteria buildup on the evaporator coils can cause unpleasant odors that are sometimes it can to dirty socks. Cleaning the coils and other parts of your HVAC system can help take care of this problem.

Ozone or metallic odors

Burnt electrical wiring or overheating components can give off a variety of metallic and ozone-like odors. You should have your HVAC technician seek out the culprit before using your furnace again.

Dusty or musty odors

If you haven’t used your furnace in a while, then chances are you’ll end up burning off some of the dust and debris that has collected on your furnace during its dormancy. This is quite normal, unless you have a dirty air filter that needs changing.

Burning oil

Spilled oil, fuel line leaks and improper ignition can cause your basement or storage area to smell like heating oil. If the odor doesn’t go away within a day or so, then you should have your HVAC technician check out your furnace.

Rotten eggs

If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, then you’re likely dealing with a natural gas leak. The additives in natural gas are designed to give off this noxious odor, alerting you to its presence. Shut off your heating system, exit your home and call your local gas company to tackle the leak.

If your nose is clueing you in to strange heating system odors, then it’s probably time to have an HVAC technician take a close look at your system. To schedule an appointment in the Broken Arrow area, contact us at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your heating system and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Furnaces

The Benefits of Modulating Furnaces

The Benefits of Modulating Furnaces

Often when you hear about combustion furnace options, fuel efficiency is the main metric thrown around.These are usually shown in terms of AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) percentage, in other words, the amount of fuel that gets converted into heat (furnaces with AFUE 90 percent and above are considered "high-efficiency"). High efficiency in a furnace is mainly accomplished with variable gas-valve staging and blower-motor speed. Modulating furnaces are considered the best in terms of both efficiency and performance.

Single-Stage Furnace Operation

To understand the benefits of modulating furnaces, it helps to realize that furnaces without multi-stage, variable-speed operation come with just one stage and one speed – meaning the gas valve is either open or closed, and the blower motor operates at 100 percent speed or not at all. When the thermostat signals the furnace to kick on, it immediately begins churning out heat at full blast, runs until the desired temperature is achieved, then shuts off.The result is short-cycling, especially during milder weather, with the furnace alternating between full-blast and "off" at relatively short intervals. Not only does full-go operation use more fuel than necessary to heat a house, the most fuel is consumed at start-up, so frequent on-and-off cycling also wastes energy.Short-cycling in a single-stage furnace without variable-speed operation also can result in uneven heating, as well as noticeable temperature swings.

Two-Stage and Modulating Furnaces

A two-stage furnace, with a gas valve that can open partially when it's not fully open, is a big improvement over a single-stage furnace. Even better is a modulating furnace featuring a gas valve with multiple staging, with the heating needs at any given time determining the setting. Two-stage or modulating operation is generally combined with a variable-speed blower motor, which also adapts its running speed depending on heating needs.These furnaces typically ramp up to full blast upon starting, then settle into lower-stage, lower-speed continuous operation, which results in more consistent temperatures throughout the house and less fuel consumption.

To discuss installing a new high-efficiency modulating furnace in your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about modulating furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Featured, Furnaces

These are the Most Common Furnace Troubleshooting Situations

These are the Most Common Furnace Troubleshooting Situations

In the midst of cool winter weather, the last thing you need is for your furnace to give you problems. If and when that happens, you’ll need to rely on your furnace troubleshooting expertise until you can get your HVAC technician to take a look at the problem. If you’re not getting enough heat or any heat at all, here are a few furnace troubleshooting tips to consider:

Not getting enough heat?

First, check your thermostat and make sure it’s set to your desired temperature. Also make sure the furnace filter isn’t clogged with debris. An undersized furnace can also fail to produce enough heat for your home’s space.

Not getting any heat at all?

Check the circuit breaker or fuse box for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. Afterwards, make sure your thermostat is set to “heat” and the desired temperature is set above the current indoor temperature. Also make sure your pilot light is on or your electric ignition is working properly.

Blower running continuously?

Have your HVAC technician check and, if necessary, replace the limit switch on the blower motor.

Not getting enough airflow?

Make sure the furnace filter isn’t clogged with debris. Also check the ducts for any breaks, holes or other damage that could accidentally reroute airflow.

Furnace too noisy?

Make sure there aren’t any loose components on your furnace. Some noises, including rumbling or squeaking sounds, could indicate a mechanical problem that your HVAC technician should deal with.

Furnace frequently cycling?

It could be a bad thermostat, clogged furnace filter or poor airflow at play. Oversized furnaces can also cycle frequently, resulting in increased wear and tear.

Can’t see your pilot light?

Try relighting the pilot. If it won’t stay lit, there may be a problem with the thermocouple or the gas supply. Don’t forget to check the surrounding area for drafts.

For more furnace troubleshooting tips and other advice, turn to the professionals at Air Assurance. We proudly offer the best in heating and cooling service and installation for homeowners in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about troubleshooting and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Heating

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Many people move into homes and only have a vague idea of the age of the heating system that comes with the home. Years later, it's even harder to know how long that heating equipment has been chugging away. Or perhaps you bought the furnace or heat pump yourself some years ago.Whatever the case, it's important to recognize signs that your heating system is ready for replacement. Following are some red flags to watch out for:

The age of the system

Furnaces last an average of 15-20 years, though it can be more or less depending on maintenance and usage. For example, a furnace operating in a cold-weather climate that seldom gets professional maintenance probably will go kaput at the short end of the average service life. With heat pumps, the average service life typically runs from 12-15 years. When your heating system gets close to the end of its expected service life, start watching for signs that a replacement is warranted.

The frequency of repairs

Obviously, if your older furnace or heat pump is breaking down or malfunctioning frequently – requiring serious repairs more than once a year – consider replacement. Once some components start to go bad, other components soon will begin following suit.

Loss of efficiency and/or comfort

If your energy bills are rising and comfort decreasing, and you can't find any other obvious reason for those negative developments, it could mean your old heating equipment is going bad.

Obvious corrosion or deterioration

Sometimes you can see for yourself that aging equipment is near its end. Corrosion or rust on a furnace heat exchanger may signal cracks, which can be hazardous to your family.The good news when it comes to a heating system upgrade is that modern HVAC equipment is much more energy efficient than equipment produced 15-20 years ago. With a new system, you can begin saving on energy bills immediately, while enjoying enhanced whole-house comfort.

For help deciding whether you need to repair or replace the aging furnace or heat pump in your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating system upgrades and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Energy Savings

Are You Ready for Unexpected Power Outages?

Are You Ready for Unexpected Power Outages?

Any kind of a power outage in the winter creates a level of hardship that ranges from inconvenient to dangerous. It makes sense to prepare your home to avoid some of the discomfort associated with the lack of heat and electricity.

  • Locate the circuit breaker for your heating system and turn it off. Once the utility workers restore the power, it can surge, sending powerful spikes of electricity through the lines that can harm your equipment. Once the power has been successfully restored, turn the breaker back on.

  • Keep flashlights handy. Put a flashlight in each bedroom and by the front or back door. Check their batteries periodically and have replacements on hand.

  • Learn how to operate your garage door manually. During a prolonged outage, you may need to leave your home if the roads are safe to do so.

  • Always have extra food on hand that doesn’t require much heating unless you have a safe way to do so. Bringing in a charcoal or propane grill creates dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. A backpacking stove is a relatively safe heating option.

  • When the outage is due to a winter storm, select a warm room in your home where you can gather. Body heat will help keep the temperature up and you can close the window coverings to keep heat from escaping.

  • Consider installing a home generator. Whether it’s a portable unit or a whole-house system, a generator takes the edge off a power outage, even if it’s a small unit used mainly for lights.

  • Have your fireplace cleaned by a professional chimney sweep annually if you use it frequently. A clean chimney and firebox increase its safety, and be sure to use a spark screen.

  • Stay warmer by dressing in layers. Keeping the body’s core warm preserves heat, as will crawling into a sleeping bag.

The preparations to cope with a power outage do take time and some expense, but they increase your family’s safety and comfort. If you’d like to learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing trusted HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “openclipart-vectors/Pixabay”

Furnaces

All About Furnace Smells

All About Furnace Smells

When you turned on your furnace for the first chilly weather this fall, you may have been aware of a burning smell pervading the home. As most homeowners know, this furnace smell is nothing more than the dust that's collected on the combustion chamber during the time the furnace is unused. The dust quickly burns up when the furnace is turned on. It's nothing to worry about, as long as it does not persist past a couple of hours.A very strong burning smell, or a persistent burning smell is, however, something you should be concerned about. Common causes of persistent burning odors are dirty air filters blocking the heating system and perhaps causing overheating, or blower malfunction. You can change the filter and see if the burning smell goes away. But if it's a blower malfunction, you will need professional help.

Other Common Furnace Smells

Rotten Egg Smell

This smell usually signals a gas leak. Turn the furnace off and open windows. Then clear out, taking all the living creatures in the home with you, and call your gas company. They will have to fix the leak before the HVAC tech can work on the furnace.

Electrical/Metallic Smells

This might be a burning odor, indicating components inside the furnace are getting too hot. If you smell this type of odor and the furnace shuts down randomly, it may be a protective mechanism. Call your HVAC company right away.You may also smell unfamiliar odors associated with the burning caused by aging or worn parts made of metal or rubber. Again, you'll need an HVAC tech to identify the source of the smells and replace the parts before they malfunction and cause damage.

Musty or Moldy Smell

This is a problem more commonly associated with the air conditioner. However, if you have damp conditions inside your home or your HVAC system, and mold spores have taken hold inside the parts or the ductwork or vents, have your HVAC tech check it out.

For more on identifying a furnace smell, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “piotr-marcinski/Shutterstock”

Heating

How Dangerous are Space Heaters?

How Dangerous are Space Heaters?

A space heater is a great addition to your overall home heating plan. Used strategically, space heaters can provide spot heating that raises your comfort level without adding significantly to your wintertime energy bill.The main drawback for any type of auxiliary heating is understanding how to use it safely. More than 18,000 home fires are caused annually because of improper use of space heaters. Read on, and learn about the types of auxiliary heating that are available, and how to use these appliances safely.

What Type of Space Heater for Your Home?

Choose from several types of auxiliary heating available in the marketplace.

  1. Conductive — This type includes electric space heaters, which use heating elements, made of mica or chromium/nickel, to convert electricity into heat. These are portable and easy to move around.

  2. Radiant — These commonly circulate oil through pipes, radiating heat outward and are good for small spaces. Radiant heat may also be generated by combustion-powered units, which should be vented for safety when used indoors.

  3. Convection — These use elements to heat air, which is sometimes circulated by a fan. They heat quietly, with the heat persisting for a long time. Convection heaters may be heavy and are therefore not really portable.

Employ these tips for safe use of your heating units:

  1. Buy a heater controlled by a thermostat, with guards over heating coils, sensors to shut down the unit if it tips, a grounded, three-prong plug, cold-touch surface to prevent burns and internal sensors to prevent overheating.

  2. Position auxiliary heating away from foot traffic and on level surfaces away from combustible materials.

  3. Never place anything on top of auxiliary heating.

  4. Plug auxiliary heating directly into the wall, never into an extension cord.

  5. Unplug heaters when not in use.

  6. Get rid of the heater if it trips the circuit breaker or is missing knobs, guard, controls or feet, or if the cord is frayed.

  7. Avoid using electrical heaters in a room where they may come in contact with water.

Want more expert advice about using a space heater? Contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about space heaters and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “brian-a-jackson/Shutterstock”

Furnaces

Furnace Motor Replacement: ECM or PSC

Furnace Motor Replacement: ECM or PSC

If you're replacing a heating system with a standard blower motor, it's worthwhile investigating different furnace motor replacement options such as an electronically commutated motor (ECM). Here's a look at how standard permanent split capacitor motors compare to more technologically-advanced ECM motors.

Permanent Split Capacitor Motors (PSC)

Standard PSC motors have just two operating modes: off and on. When signaled by the thermostat, these single-speed motors start up and run on high, then cycle off when the temperature setting is reached.

Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM)

An ECM motor can vary its speed in response to changes in your home's heating needs. The motor cycles on slowly and runs for longer periods on the lowest speed necessary to maintain comfort. When more warm air output is needed, it speeds automatically.

PSC Vs. ECM Motors

Here are some additional factors to consider so you can compare how PSC and ECM motors perform and make a more informed decision on which type is the best choice for your home:

  • Energy consumption. A furnace blower unit equipped with a variable-speed ECM motor uses up to 75 percent less electricity than a blower that's powered by a PSC motor.

  • Maintenance needs. An ECM motor has "true" bearings that don't need lubrication, it starts, ramps up and stops "softly" and runs on low speed most of the time. Because an ECM motor is under less strain and subject to less wear than a PSC unit, it requires less maintenance.

  • Temperature control. With its longer cycling and variable-speed operation, an ECM motor can provide more consistent temperatures and better humidity control than a one-speed PSC unit that cycles on and off frequently.

  • Equipment lifespan. ECM motors have an expected lifespan of about 90,000 hours, compared to PSC motors that typically last for 40,000–50,000 hours.

  • Air filtration. The prolonged cycling of an ECM motor also means that the indoor air gets pulled through the furnace filter more often, so it's able to remove more debris from your air supply.

To learn more about different furnace motor replacement options for your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about motor replacement and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “feng-yu/Shutterstock”

Furnaces

Check Your Furnace's Readiness for Winter Usage

Check Your Furnace's Readiness for Winter Usage

With winter just around the corner in Oklahoma, now's the right time to start preparing your furnace or heat pump for the cold weather. This means both professional maintenance and do-it-yourself tasks, to make sure your forced-air heating system will be ready when the temperatures go south of freezing.

Preparing your heating system for winter early is a good idea since many HVAC businesses get very busy once cold weather arrives.

A professional furnace or heat pump maintenance visit will accomplish the following:

  • Enhance energy efficiency. An efficient furnace or heat pump will require less energy to provide comfortable heating than a system for which maintenance has been neglected.

  • Ensure safety. The technician will inspect and adjust your heating system to minimize the risk of fire or hazardous gas leaks in a combustion furnace, or electrical or refrigerant issues in a heat pump.

  • Repair small problems before they turn into big, expensive ones.

  • Ensure proper airflow so all parts of your home are evenly and comfortably heated.

What Happens During Professional Maintenance?

While different levels of maintenance are available, a comprehensive heating system maintenance visit will include an inspection of your equipment and air distribution system. The technician should clean and lubricate moving parts, check the thermostat, electrical connections and system controls, and perform appropriate diagnostic tests. They'll also replace the air filter if necessary.

With furnace maintenance, the technician will check and/or adjust the ignition system and combustion burners, making sure the burners aren't clogged. They'll check that the exhaust system is working correctly, among other things.If you have a heat pump, the technician should check the refrigerant level, ensure that heat-exchange coils are clean, and make sure the condensate drain system isn't clogged.

Homeowner maintenance steps include regular air filter checks, making sure the area around the heating appliance is clean and clear of clutter, and removing any items that might be blocking heating vents and registers.

To schedule a fall maintenance tune-up for your heating system, please contact us at Air Assurance, providing quality HVAC services to Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “openclipart-vectors/Pixabay”

Featured, HVAC system

How Do Your HVAC Components Coordinate?

How Do Your HVAC Components Coordinate?

Each part of your HVAC system has a role to play in heating or cooling your home. By learning about the process, you can develop a greater understanding of why even simple maintenance tasks, such as changing the air filter, are important. Here's how HVAC system components coordinate to create a comfortable indoor climate.

The Ventilation Cycle

Airflow is as important to the function of heating and cooling systems as breathing oxygen is for your health.Return air ducts draw old air from your home and move it to heating or cooling component of the system. Supply ducts, on the other hand, are the delivery network for the newly filtered and conditioned air into the home’s interior. Both return and supply ducts help keep your air fresher and the temperature comfortable.Ventilation problems can affect the other HVAC system components as well as your comfort. Examples include:

  • Dirty ductwork — dust accumulation in ductwork results in poor air quality and dust inside other HVAC components.

  • Clogged air filter — This restricts air from flowing as it should to the heart of the HVAC system. Problems caused by clogged filters can include frozen evaporator coils, an overheated blower fan, furnace shut down, and dirty ductwork.

  • Inadequate ductwork— ductwork that is damaged, too large or too small will perform its role poorly and reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency.

Heating and Cooling

Your furnace performs its function by heating air flowing through its heat exchanger. If all goes well, there is sufficient airflow, and all burners, heating elements and blower fan are working well, this heated air will be pushed into supply ducts. If your ductwork is in good shape, most of the heat will remain in the air during its journey between the furnace and your registers.A similar process occurs when you use your air conditioning. Air is pushed through components in the air conditioner where it is cooled. If all goes as it should, this cooled air then flows into your home through ductwork.

To learn more about HVAC system components, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Ioannis Pantzi/Shutterstock”

Service & Maintenance

Prepare Your OK Home for Cooler Weather With These Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Prepare Your OK Home for Cooler Weather With These Fall Home Maintenance Tips

With the days rapidly growing cooler and shorter in Broken Arrow, now is the perfect time to get some work done around the house while it is still warm enough to let the fresh air in. The following fall home maintenance tips can help you get a good start on this year's preparations before the bitter cold of winter sets in:

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

  • Have the heating system checked: The fall is the perfect time to have your heating system inspected and maintained by a certified HVAC technician, which will help keep the system running efficiently throughout the winter and allow the technician to find and prevent serious problems before they happen. Regular maintenance helps extend the life of your HVAC system and reduce your heating bills.

  • Replace the air filter: Check the heating system's air filter in the fall and winter once a month, and replace it when necessary. This will help keep your system running efficiently and prevent excess wear and tear.

  • Seal air leaks: Use weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent drafts, and use caulk or sprayed-foam insulation to fill gaps around pipes, electric wires, exhaust vents and other openings in the exterior walls. Make sure that your ceilings, walls, floors and attic have the proper amount of insulation, and that it is properly installed and in good condition.

  • Get rid of dust: Use a vacuum to eliminate as much dust as possible while you can still keep the windows open. Pay special attention to the heating registers, cold air returns, filter housings, fans, stove hoods and exhaust vents. If you have any tasks that generate heavy chemical fumes, such as painting, oven cleaning or carpet cleaning, do them now before it is too cold to open the windows.

  • Replace batteries: Replace the batteries in your thermostat, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and verify that they are working correctly.

For other convenient fall home maintenance tips, talk to our home heating experts at Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today. We serve Broken Arrow, the Tulsa metropolitan area and the surrounding communities.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “marinini/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings

Go Green This Winter With These Energy-Saving Tips

Go Green This Winter With These Energy-Saving Tips

Go Green This Winter With These Energy-Saving Tips

Winter requires pretty much everybody to use their heating system in order to stay warm. However, many homeowners are trying to go green this winter by taking steps to reduce their energy usage. Follow this basic guide and use our energy-saving tips to go green and still keep your home comfortable and warm for yourself and your family.

  • Lower the temperature of your thermostat a few degrees below where you would normally keep it. Every single degree lower can save you up to 5 percent on your energy bill in the winter months, and chances are you won’t notice much of a difference anyway. Put on a warm sweater and lower your thermostat a few degrees in the evening and you’ll save even more money when you go green.

  • Install a two-zone programmable thermostat in your home that allows you to set different temperatures in different areas of your home. For example, you can keep your bedroom a little warmer while allowing the temperature to drop a few degrees lower while you’re sleeping in order to save money.

  • Use your programmable thermostat to reduce your energy bills by lowering the temperature in your home considerably when you’re at work. You can set up a schedule on your thermostat so that your home is cool while you’re gone and nice and warm when you’re home. There’s no need to heat an empty house.

  • Put a humidifier in rooms you spend a lot of time in like your bedroom. The warm moist air will help make you feel warmer even when the temperature might be a few degrees lower than you would normally keep it.

  • Have your heating system inspected and tuned up by qualified professionals before you start using it regularly. An inefficient system will cost you more since you’ll need to run it much more frequently.

Contact Air Assurance for more information and tips on how to go green this winter. We’ve been serving the greater Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985 and we’re proud to help area residents with all of their heating and air conditioning needs.

Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Preventative Maintenance

Fall Maintenance: It's Not Too Soon to Think About It for Your Tulsa Home

AirAssurance 10.1.13

AirAssurance 10.1.13

The sun and the elements are always taking a toll on your home, regardless of the season. As the summer begins to wane, it is a good time to start handling the maintenance tasks that you need to get to before winter sets in.Here are a few things to do to get the house ready for winter:

  • Caulk around pipes and other openings into the house. Cold air can easily infiltrate these small cracks and make heating the home harder.

  • Apply weather-stripping around doors and windows. This will keep these large openings free from air leaks.

  • As the weather gets cooler, replace screens with storm windows and doors.

  • Inspect the roof for damage. Air and water can infiltrate which makes heating and cooling the house difficult.

  • Check the insulation levels in the attic. Consult with an expert to find the recommended R-value -- the thermal resistance rating for insulation -- for your area. Experts will need to know what type of insulation you have, where it is located and how thick it is to determine if it offers sufficient protection against heat loss.

  • Have the heating system checked by a professional. All systems need routine maintenance to work properly.

  • Make sure your stove or fireplace is in good shape. Have your chimney cleaned and serviced also.

  • Change the direction of ceiling fans to pull air up. You want to pull cool air up and send warm air down to heat the house.

Getting your home ready for winter by performing fall maintenance does not take a great deal of time. And the time you spend is worth it for lower energy costs and a comfortable house during the cold months of the year.You also need to call in the professionals to check your heating system as part of your fall maintenance. Remember, by doing so, there is currently a $30 Rebate from Oklahoma Natural Gas!! If you want to talk to an expert in home comfort, contact us here at Air Assurance. We are a family owned and operated company that has served the Tulsa metropolitan area since 1985.Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE/* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-priority:99;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0in;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock